January 21, 2015
On a brisk Sunday afternoon in January, several people gathered for an Interfaith Rally to show solidarity with the victims of the massacre of staff at the publication, Charlie Hebdo, and the people in a Kosher market who were simultaneously murdered by Muslim Jihadists in Paris, France.
Nazda Alam of the Islamic Center of Boston, Wayland made a strong statement at the outset, saying, “‘Islam’ means ‘peace’ and violence is prohibited in the Qur’an,” adding, “We stand here to proclaim our solidarity with peace-loving people around the world.”
Eileen Zalisk, a Jew, argued forcefully that the Muslims she knows are kind, peace loving , generous and compassionate. She believes that “people of all faith, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim can work together to ameliorate the conditions which breed terrorists and find common ground and shared values in all religious beliefs.
Nicole Mossalm, of the Islamic Center of Boston, Cambridge, said that “nothing could be further from the truth of Islam when these individuals chose to react with violence. Nor did the gunman who randomly shot and killed shoppers at the Kosher market exemplify Islam in any way that the Prophet would approve of,” and pointed out that, ” It was Ahmed Marabet, a Muslim ironically, who died in the line of duty protecting and defending rights of others.”
The Rev. Dr. Fredrick Moser quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, who said, “We should gather to witness as he did for the freedom of all people to express their identities freely but non-violently.” and added that, “By gathering as we do this afternoon we give our hands and voices as well as our hearts to that commemoration in a real and visible way.”
Dr. Moser praised a letter written by Mario, the President of the Islamic Center of Boston, Wayland, after the terrible events in Paris, “The Holly Qur’an teaches us that the killing of one innocent human being is as if one has killed the whole of humanity . As members of the American Muslim community in the greater Boston area, we offer our sincere condolences to those whose loved ones were killed and injured in this random act of terrorism.”
The event was organized by Nazda Alam of Weston, Eileen Zalsik, Merna Victor and Wright Salisbury of Lexington. A group of Bangladeshi Muslims members lead by Munir Rahman, the president of the Bangladesh Islamic Society attended this event. Dr. John Carlton-Foss of Weston, Susan Mayer of Lexington also were present. The organizers concluded with a commitment to continue this interface approach with future events of this kind throughout the State. The camera woman is Merna Victor.